At BioLogos, we’re in the harmony business—we want to show how Evolutionary Creation brings together science and biblical faith better than its alternatives. But, as readers of our blog know, we are also in the dialogue business. We get really excited about chances to sit down with fellow believers and work through the tough issues at the intersection of science and faith. And we’re passionate about talking graciously with each other, as fellow worshippers of Christ. These two goals—promotion and dialogue—both define “success” for us. Of course we would like to see Christians adopt and advocate the evolutionary creation viewpoint. But it is no less a “success” for us when evolutionary creation is simply seen as a faithful option for evangelical Christians. Similarly, if we can foster and encourage gracious and productive conversation about science and faith among Christians, we count it as a “win.”
In this spirit, we traveled to San Diego in late November for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. Our home for three days was a small booth at the corner of the large exhibition hall, surrounded by representatives from colleges, seminaries, Bible software companies, and about every Christian book publisher you could imagine. Our neighbors in the hall also included young-earth creationist organization Answers in Genesis, old-earthers Reasons to Believe, and even ECF grantee Solid Rock Lectures. Hundreds of people stopped by our tables, and quite a few engaged us in long conversations about evolution and Christian faith. While the great majority of the people we met were skeptical about our positions, quite a few told us that they had a renewed interest in considering the subject of evolution from a Christian perspective and are appreciative of our tone. Some said that they always thought of evolutionary creation as an oxymoron, but they now understand how it could be a faithful option—even though they still disagree with us. We disseminated hundreds of printed materials, including pamphlets, DVDs, and printed articles from our blog archives.
The highlight of the week was a public dialogue between BioLogos, Reasons to Believe (led by Hugh Ross), and theologians from several Southern Baptist seminaries. Although both of these groups have been dialogue partners with BioLogos for years, this was the first time that all three groups sat down publicly to hash out their agreements and differences. Almost every seat in the audience was filled, as the large and curious crowd listened to discussion and asked questions. Darrel Falk and John Walton joined us to discuss topics from Genesis to genetics with the RTB scholar team of Hugh Ross, Fazale Rana, and Ken Samples. Our Southern Baptist friends, including Ken Keathley, acted as moderators and questioners to keep the conversation moving. Several influential scholars attended the session, including apologist William Lane Craig. Many in attendance told us that they were profoundly grateful for the gracious tone of the conversation, and many also expressed an appetite for a continued conversation.
While it is too soon to anticipate the total impact of the conference, we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the evangelical conversation about Scripture and science. Our time at ETS shows us that many Christians are hungry for a better dialogue—both in tone and content, and BioLogos has a key role to play in making this conversation happen. We have never been more excited about the future God has for us as we proclaim his power and creativity to the Church and the world.